College sports: Name, image, likeness legislation bill to be introduced in Ohio legislature

Ohio Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg, has introduced a bill designed to ease barriers for people getting into the trucking profession. JIM OTTE/STAFF
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Ohio Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg, has introduced a bill designed to ease barriers for people getting into the trucking profession. JIM OTTE/STAFF

COLUMBUS — Ohio is joining the wave of states with plans to at least consider prohibiting colleges in the state from preventing college athletes in the state from profiting from their name, image and likeness.

State Sen. Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) unveiled the bill Monday afternoon at a press conference on the campus of Ohio State.

An Ohio State grad, Antani said the issue has been on his radar since he was a student and saw firsthand how athletes struggled to make ends meet while restricted on how they could make money.

“Not every student athlete has a scholarship and even for those that do, it may only cover their cost of attendance, leaving little left over for living expenses,” Antani said. “These college students should be able to benefit from their own name, image, and likeness. Most will not get endorsement deals from major shoe and apparel companies, but rather from their hometown businesses, such as an auto dealer or bookstore. My bill legalizes this in a safe and reasonable manner.”

If passed, the bill would go into effect July 1.

That is the day five other states have laws already set to go into effect, raising concerns about an uneven playing field.

Legislation is also being discussed at the federal level, and changes to NCAA rules have been discussed but so far not finalized or given final approval.

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